Urbana’s African Sister City – Zomba, Malawi
Urbana’s first Sister City partnership grew out of a relationship already established between the Urbana First Presbyterian Church and the village of Domasi, near the Shire River at the foot of Lake Malawi. Urbana forged ties with the city officials of Zomba, the nearby regional administrative center of Zomba District. With a population similar to that of Champaign-Urbana and as a regional administrative center, Zomba is closely matched to Urbana.
Zomba, located in the southern region of Malawi, is one of the country’s largest urban centers. It is home to Chancellor College, the largest college in the University of Malawi system, as well as the Kamuzu College of Nursing and the College of Medicine. Approximately half of the university’s 6,257 students attend school in Zomba.
Southeastern Africa, east of Zambia, its southern borders extend into Mozambique.
Malawi is 118,480 sq. km., which is slightly smaller than the state of Pennsylvania.
13,931,831 people inhabit Malawi; almost half of the population is under the age of 15, while only 2.7 percent of the population is 65 years and older. The median age in Malawi is 16.8 years.
Zomba’s population is approximately 105,500 (2018) and is the 3rd largest city in Malawi.
English is the official language, and Chichewa, a Bantu language, is the national language; about 60 percent of Malawians speak Chichewa.
Some common phrases:
- Moni - hello (typical form of greeting when meeting someone for the first time.)
- Muli bwanji - Muli bwanji
- Ndili bwino - I am fine
- Mutsale bwino - Keep well
- Zikomo - thank you
- Bayi - Good bye
Did You Know?
Blantyre, now an important commercial and industrial center in Malawi, was named after the Scottish birthplace of David Livingstone who worked for years as a missionary in Malawi (died 1873).
Malawi used to be known as British Nyasaland.
Lake Malawi is the third largest lake in Africa.
Mount Mulange, in the Southern tip of Malawi, is Malawi’s tallest peak, rising 9,849 feet above sea level.